Many kids and adults have an interest in electronics because they want to build robots. But it can be difficult to figure out where to even start. There are hundreds of kits on the market and the options are endless where you veer into custom territory. But if you’re looking for a tank-style rover that you can control via Bluetooth®, then this robot designed by Mastoras Inc is a fantastic choice.
We like this project because it combines the advantages of robot kits and custom robots. It uses an off-the-shelf chassis to simplify the complicated mechanical parts, but with custom Arduino electronics that allow for customizability and that offer an introduction to coding. It has Bluetooth capability, so you can control it remotely from your smartphone. Mastoras Inc built an Android app, which you can tweak as much as you like. You can also create your own if you want to try you hand at app development.
The project starts with a tracked robot chassis kit, which includes the frame, DC motors, hubs, and tracks. An Arduino Nano Every board controls those motors through an L298N H-bridge driver. An HC-05 module adds connectivity and power comes from a 9V battery. The electronics enclosures are 3D-printable, but you can also use any pre-built project box. If you do have a 3D printer, you can also add a tank turret rotated by a 9g micro servo motor.
This robot won’t make waves at your local hackerspace, but it is a great way to dip your toes into robotics and develop a foundation that you can build upon.